Legislation would require state agencies to reassess algorithms, artificial intelligence

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) — Both houses of New York’s legislature passed a first-in-the-nation bill targeting “automated decision making” at state agencies. The bill—S7543B/A9430B, or the LOADinG Act—says this includes software that relies on algorithms, computer models, or artificial intelligence.

A spokesperson from the office of Sen. Kristen Gonzalez, the bill’s sponsor, said state agencies use automated decision-making to issue driver’s licenses, award public benefits, process low-income housing applications, and review state taxes. If signed by the governor, the act would:

  • Provide public notice when state agencies use these systems
  • Require direct human review and oversight, with a report to the governor every two years
  • Prohibit using the technology to replace workers

An impact assessment report should add transparency, according to Gonzalez’s office. It must justify the use of any automated system that affects individual rights, civil liberties, or safety. And if a state agency reports that their system showed bias, they have to stop using it.

Gonzalez, a Democrat, chairs the Senate Committee on Internet and Technology. Her counterpart sponsor in the Assembly, Science and Technology Committee Chair Steven Otis, said, “Automated decision-making and artificial intelligence provide great tools for improving services. These tools must be accompanied by guardrails, transparency, and oversight to make sure that management of these systems remains controlled by humans and that they do not provide faulty, biased, or discriminatory outcomes.”

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